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San Diego Chinese Historical Museum

Neighborhood: Downtown
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Address: 404 Third Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone Number: (619) 338-9888

Discover the best kept secret in downtown San Diego. The San Diego Chinese...

Discover the best kept secret in downtown San Diego. The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing Chinese and Chinese American art, culture and history. Exhibits include a hand-carved bed that belonged to a Chinese warlord, a 1500-year-old limestone Buddha head, a tranquil Asian garden and koi pond, intricate miniature models of old Chinatown buildings, and there are always new exhibits in our new extension building.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 17 reviews
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    Very good
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Really great local museum!

Fascinating local history. Well done displays celebrating Chinese immigrant stories. Outdoor garden a real surprise. Well worth the stop.

5 of 5 starsReviewed June 1, 2016
Kansas City, Missouri
via mobile
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17 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 15: English reviews
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2016 via mobile

Fascinating local history. Well done displays celebrating Chinese immigrant stories. Outdoor garden a real surprise. Well worth the stop.

Thank Teachur
Riverside, California
Level Contributor
1,509 reviews
466 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 328 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2016 via mobile

Mislabeled artifacts. Cobwebs on a prominent statue. Unkempt garden. Locked doors at secondary facilities. Docent engaged with personal business on computer. How about engaging the guests? Curating the exhibits? Create Chinese labels to go side by side the English-only versions. This place seems to have become complacent in its purpose made possible by the generosity of many donors.

Thank Kauai-Biz-Traveler
SDCHM, Guest Relations Manager at San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, responded to this review

Dear Kauai-Biz Traveler, I am sorry that SDCHM did not meet your expectations. We are currently in a transitional period and are striving to become a stronger asset for our community and want to demonstrate we are worthy of support and public trust. We encourage you to visit SDCHM next year (free of charge) to see the changes we have... More 

Austin, TX
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2016

It is obvious that the museum was put together with great care. I learned new things and appreciated the explanations that went along with the exhibit. Friendly staff answered questions and shared additional information. Small, but worth a visit!

Thank msmadams
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2016

I visited the SD Chinese Historical Museum during the Chinese New Year festival in February. Being a history buff - especially of local history - I enjoyed looking at all the exhibits relating to the history of Chinese people in San Diego and the history of the area around the museum. There is a beautiful garden in the back -... More 

1 Thank Sagelady5523
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
166 reviews
91 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2015

This "museum complex on 3 different streets in San Diego's Chinatown that today is known as the Gaslamp and was previously also the locale of prostitutes and called the Stingray is well-worth visiting. Included is a traditional museum with historical artifacts from nearby archeological digs, a special exhibit location that's almost across the street in the Dr. Sun Yatsen Memorial... More 

2 Thank GlobalGypsy_13
Lake Stevens, Washington
Level Contributor
170 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2015

We were surprised to see a China Town in San Diego, so we had to see the history. Very nice and wonderful displays. Great examples of artifacts used by local Chinese immigrants. I did see the same palm tree rain gear that we saw in Pendleton Oregon's underground tour. I also saw a few things I have never seen. The... More 

2 Thank Barry E
Long Beach, California
Level Contributor
99 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2015

SDCHM is a great museum on the southern edge of the Gaslamp District, only a stone's throw from the Convention Center. Admission is only $2, but kindly think of donating a bit more. The museum covers the history of Chinese in San Diego, which is really the history if Chinese in America. Every historic Chinatown has a similar story. They... More 

2 Thank octrekster
Level Contributor
101 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2015

This small history museum covers a lot of ground in a small space. This forgotten portion of race relations in early California history is well documented here. From the gold miners through the first Chinese laundries to the restaurant culture- it spans a great deal of information. Most of which may not be known to the non-Asian populations. The docents... More 

2 Thank Wanderpair
Level Contributor
74 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014

Great little museum in the quaint Chinatown of San Diego. Staff is awesome and very helpful. Anyone interested in learning more about Asian in California should definitely visit.

Thank Tkyrnr
Lakewood, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

Although this is a small museum, the admission price is very cheap ($2 Jan/2014) and it has some very interesting exhibits. The main room is divided with on side displaying items from the old San Diego Chinatown, and local Chinese history and the other side showing artifacts from China. In back is very lovely and peaceful courtyard and garden. Across... More 

2 Thank Lance P

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